AT&T Taps Metaswitch SBC for NFV Strategy

AT&T has selected Metaswitch’s Perimeta Session Border Controller (SBC) to power a portion of the carrier’s software-centric network as AT&T drives toward its goal to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020.

SBCs have historically been hardware-based, rigid and expensive. But the Perimeta SBC will enable AT&T to connect its LTE network traffic with other carriers’ networks via SBCs, which are deployed as virtualized network functions (VNFs).

“By embracing VNFs like the Perimeta SBC, AT&T can offer its customers a wide variety of differentiated services on a cost-effective, flexible and programmable network,” said John Lazar, CEO of Metaswitch. “Metaswitch is committed to collaborating with AT&T to deliver agile and high-quality software for AT&T’s software-centric network vision.”

AT&T is a first-mover in the network function virtualization (NFV) space. Its SVP of technology and operations, John Donovan, has said that the telco will hit 5 percent this year.

The first NFV steps the telco has taken have to been to virtualize critical network functions such as domain name service (DNS), network analytics, the intelligent data platform and virtualized provider edge routers. And the move has already allowed AT&T to do some very interesting things, like roll out its Network on Demand service. In just 80 seconds, using a self-service app, customers can adjust their network speeds as needed, and dial back down when traffic recedes, on the fly.